About 7 years ago I decided that good isn’t good enough. Not in any part of life: work, play, health, relationships; education and exploration; service and faith. We can do better when we make the decision to be great. Sounds simple enough, but most of us, most of the time, settle for a few steps below. We don’t test our highest powers.
Great isn’t about keeping score, it’s about measuring growth. And the true beauty of that proclamation unfolds when it’s void of contrasts and comparisons of what other people are doing. It’s most meaningful when it’s all YOURS. The pursuit of your own personal greatness – in whatever size or shape that speaks to you – that’s when you begin to elevate to another level. That’s when you raise the bar.
The irony of it all is that we may rarely reach our own lofty standards. But that’s ok. The symptoms and side effects of simply pushing and fighting and striving to be great – to build great things and make great differences – give us all the habits and tools we need to keep our fire burning. No matter what dark twists or ugly turns cross our Paths. That passionate pursuit helps us keep going. That journey keeps us grateful.
So let’s decide.
And then let’s go do great work.
After a lifetime of personal experience, 15 years of corporate and startup experience, and four solid years helping people learn everything from surfing and pottery to financial planning and dental assisting, I’ve found three factors to be the most important to success and fulfillment in your career:
1. Passion: You gotta genuinely love what you do.
2. Skills: Passion alone is powerful, but it isn’t enough. Specialized training on the specific, practical skills that you need on the job is critical. Sounds basic but I’m constantly blown away by how many people are working jobs they aren’t properly trained for (and yes, even/especially those with college degrees).
3. Mentorship: You need to be surrounded by leaders and experts who genuinely care about you, your company and the mission you’re on together.
Passion, Skills and Mentorship.
If you have those three things, you will do great work. And you’ll have a blast doing it.
Company leaders, please do your best to not only hire folks who already possess this triumvirate, but help your current employees get there as well. You can’t teach passion, but you can definitely help with skills and mentorship. It will not only drive your bottom line, but it will elevate your company culture and enhance your customer experience.
Grateful as always for the highs, lows and all the spaces and places in between.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that you just gotta keep going.
Keep moving, keep working, keep believing.
Don’t stop, don’t listen.
Follow your vision off a cliff and hit the ground running.
The journey is the gift and the process is the prize. Your passion is the fuel.
And when you learn to willingly and willfully give more than you get, then you are truly grateful; then you are truly happy.
So keep going. It’s a lifestyle, not a destination.
As part of this #besomebody journey, I run into a lot of people who feel ‘stuck.’
Stuck in between what they have to do, and what they want to do. Stuck in between the job that pays the bills, and the dream that lights the fire. Stuck in between a bad relationship and the chance for a better one. Stuck between the fear of past failures and the possibility of future success.
America is a nation of immigrants, explorers and revolutionaries.
Two-hundred and forty years ago, we started as a small and scrappy pack of rebels, driven by a dream of “liberty and justice for all.” An outpost of outcasts, we penned our vision on street sides and carved our values in stone. We marched for peace and fought for freedom. And through it all, with each passing decade and each changing generation, we climbed… together.